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Monday, November 23rd, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  24 responses

Clippers Broadcasters’ Ironic Suspension

The guys in charge of bringing Clippers basketball to the home viewer were suspended one game for making racially and culturally insensitive remarks on the air, and yet, their boss (Donald Sterling) continues to get away with much, much worse: “Clippers longtime play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler and color analyst Michael Smith were suspended one game by the Fox Sports Prime Ticket cable network for their comments about Memphis center Hamed Haddadi. Lawler and Smith made their off-the-cuff comments about the Iranian-born center during Wednesday night’s telecast from Memphis. The on-air banter offended a viewer who e-mailed Fox to complain … Lawler: ‘Wow. Haddadi that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.’ Smith: ‘You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother?’ Smith: ‘If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.’ Lawler: ‘Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.’”

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  • http://sdjfklf.com Jukai

    That’s the most boring kind of racially offensive. The “I know nothing about these people but I’m a broadcaster so I’m gonna sort of wing it” racially offensive. They probably had no idea what the hell they were doing wrong.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Who was watching Clippers v. Grizz?

  • JoeMaMa

    Why did Lawler get suspended? I can see Smith, but Lawler not so much.

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    For a suspension I was expecting something worthwhile, to read that is… That dumb as fcuk Smith deserves the suspension… but come on, I second Jukai, that is just the ‘most boring kind’ of offense ever, considering they were trying to be funny thats just so so pathetic.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    “They probably had no idea what the hell they were doing wrong.” Yea. Ignorance.

  • http://slamonline.com YKnot

    Yeah, I was expecting a Jimmy the Greek type comment. This is just stupid!

  • KHALID SALAAM

    Is this all they got suspended for? not much really…

  • http://www.dsenyard.com dsenyard

    Not sure what the actions of a tv company have to do with the actions of the NBA.
    Fox can’t suspend Sterling, he doesn’t work for them.
    And the NBA didn’t suspend these broadcasters.
    David Stern needs to get on his job though regarding Sterlig. His silence is damning.

  • UnRel

    smith shouldn’t be suspended.. just cause he says that borat should play the guy in a movie?.. how is that racially offensive?.. so silly.. someone should email the boss of the guy who complained.. and get him fired for actually sitting though a clippers/griz game.. who does that?

  • james

    AHAHahH thats hilarious i love racism

    he does look like borats brother lol lol lol

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Mo Charlo made me laugh.

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    @UnRel Smith does deserve the suspension; just for being an unfunny moron… I wouldn’t class it as any form of racism, but such a statement is going to cause offense and thats the issue in this political correct world. For someone who has a public medium of communication, he needs to show more smarts and that is what the suspension is about… giving him a reminder of such a fact and allowing him to think about his public role, they didnt have many other options; either a simple telling off, or a sacking, seems they took the middle road.

  • DJ

    this is really absurd. they pointed out that haddadi looked like borat, which is true. they said the iranians can pass the ball…wow, that’s really awful isn’t it? even if they were making fun of him, it was because he sucks and he’s a benchwarmer on one of the worst teams in the league. i agree with anyone who says smith should be fired, though, but only because he’s bad at his job. overall, however, this incident isn’t even worth mentioning, and anyone who’s offended should just man up.

  • Kyle

    Yeah, they seemed excited when he made the slick pass. It didn’t seem like it was mean spirited at all. Also they just seemed shocked that there was a player from Iran in the NBA, and announcers always mispronounce names of foreigners(that’s what they were joking about.)

    They weren’t trying to be offensive.

  • DJ and Kyle are stupid

    @ Kyle: You’re an idiot. The fact that they didn’t know they were being offensive is even worse. I can’t believe you’re actually trying to downplay this.
    @ DJ: He sucks at basketball so they should have made fun of his ethnicity? He’s better than you are, so we should start making WonderBread jokes and calling you h0nkey? Hey, if we tell you to go back to your trailer park, you should just man up because you suck at basketball. Yeah, shut up already, redneck.

  • DJ and Kyle are stupid

    By the way, I’m not r@cist to anyone, black, Asian, white, or Hispanic: only trying to prove a point. That bullsh!t stereotyping-while acting like you didn’t know-needs to stop. Its NOT okay.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    For people like Khalid trying to downplay this incident, you’ve got to be kidding me. Whether or not those guys “intended” to insult the player, what they said was r@cist, ignorant, and just plain disrespectful. They’re lucky they weren’t fired for that kind if idiocy.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Kyle and DJ are both idiots.

  • Yazz

    Borat is not even from Iran but from Kazakhstan…

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    How is it racist?
    1) Making jokes about someone based on their ethnicity, not their character, is racist.
    2) He’s not Borat and he doesn’t look like Borat. Borat, the character, is from Khazakstan. Sasha Baron Cohen, the actor, is Jewish with a European heritage. None of these places is Iran. They didn’t even get the racial/ethnic stereotype right, which is EVEN WORSE. Kind of like making Stupid Texan jokes when Steve Nash handles the ball, y’know?

    Conclusion? These two men are idiots, not funny and it’s unsurprising they work for the Clippers… or Donald Sterling, for that matter.

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Probably the only funny thing about this, actually, is those two guys were stupid enough to mistake an Iranian for a guy whose family live in Israel.
    That’s actually quite an amusing irony.

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    look. on an interpersonal basis this probably just another comment made in jest with no offense taken, which is why I suspect some of you can’t see the issue here. but given that this guy is a paid professional and yet has somehow enabled himself to make inflammatory remarks is completely NEEDLESS, he gets paid to do a specific job but has instead enabled a storm inside a teacup over a set of fairly ignorant comments.
    — -
    @Dave ‘Making jokes about someone based on their ethnicity, not their character, is racist.’ So making look-a-like references about Iranian looking like a Kazakh isnt potentially offensive? Most Americans would be offended if they got called Canadian in some brash, “trying” to be funny remark… so get a grip and realise the context of the situation

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    You know, I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, 360.

  • http://willworkforjustice.blogspot.com Matt Raft

    Lawler and Smith should be suspended. Imagine this scenario:

    Smith: There’s Najera coming onto the floor.

    Lawler: That’s the player from Mex-eee-ko, right?

    Smith: Is he from the real Mex-eee-ko, or the new one, right here in New Mexico?

    Lawler: Ha ha, are you sure he isn’t the older brother of Slowpoke Rodriguez?

    Smith: If they ever make a movie about him, they should get a Norteno or Sureno to play him. Wow, nice steal…those Mexicans can really steal the ball, can’t they?

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